La Sportiva Men’s Wildcat 2.0 GTX Trail Running Shoe – Review

I bought these as my “world travel” shoes, as I will be doing a world tour soon. Since I was heading into Chile during their rainy season, I wanted to have shoes that were waterproof, as well as have decent traction. The blue La Sportiva frixion rubber I think is a good compromise between stickiness and durability. Since I will be dividing my time between off-road (hiking, crag approaches), and city tour walking this shoe seemed to fit all my criteria. I have been using this shoe for the past 2 months during a Colorado Spring, which included just about every weather and conditions imaginable: rainy, snowy, sunny and dry, etc. This shoe enabled me to be sure-footed from terrain as varied as rocky trails, to 4th class scrambling, muddy trails and wet sidewalks.

The structure of this shoe has a bit of stiffness, sort of if a running shoe and a hiking boot had a baby! I can see it suitable for trail running (not a trail runner myself), since it is not too stiff, but stiff enough to protect the foot from sharp rocks, and keeps one steady balancing on edges. For a low-cut hiker it’s just about perfect!

I almost shaved off 1 star for myself as the toe box slightly rubs on my left toe, but I realize that is just particular to how my foot is shaped versus a defect in the product itself. A full five stars for another excellent La Sportiva product!


La Sportiva Men’s Wildcat 2.0 GTX Trail Running Shoe

GTX stands for Goretex, or waterproofing, but with breathability of Goretex

Best use: Travel, Trail running, offroad. Onto Specifications: Size & weight depend on shoe size, but it is listed as 2.3lbs shipping weight. Compare with Chuck Taylor high tops at 3 lbs.

Form and Function – sturdy base, kind of a hybrid between a regular running shoe and a hiking boot – some stiffness to bear the brunt of sharp rocks and is able to balance on edges, but not quite as stiff as a boot.

Additional features – La Sportiva uses a color code system to distinguish between the stickiness vs durability of their different shoe rubber, with more stickiness being a tradeoff for less durability, and vice versa. The blue frixion rubber is a good compromise between stickiness needed for trail running, but also durability needed for, well, trail running!

Goretex shell that sheds water and snow, yet breathes well.

Compare with? Compared to the La Sportiva Primer Low GTX Men’s Hiking Sneaker Shoe which had a much softer tread and support. I Also compared with rock climbing and approach shoes in my collection, and while these do not have the supreme stickiness of a true approach shoe, I was able to traverse 4th class terrain with confidence.

Likeability: It’s a compromise shoe – not as grippy as a typical approach shoe used for 3rd and 4th class scrambling, yet softer than a hard hiking boot. It’s meant for trail running, but anything offered it will do journeyman duty, while still having hard enough rubber to last on city streets that a typical traveler will encounter 90% of the time.

So, like all compromises, you probably won’t love it completely for a single thing, but you will grab for it as a default shoe able to deal well with several environments from both wet and rocky to flat and dry.

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